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Student Spotlight – Jimena

For the Student Spotlight opening of 2019, we bring you Jimena Torres (Jay)! Jay started pole fitness as a part of a personal healing journey, with the intention of building emotional and physical strength, as well as confidence.

She began attending Pole 1 classes with Aradia Fitness Calgary in 2015 and has progressed to being a regular Pole Sport Organization competitor as well as local performer, both on and off the pole. Jay has discovered her true identity on stage, placing fourth this year out of 11 in the Entertainment category at PSO Canada West in Vancouver in September 2018. She has been entertaining audiences all over Calgary with her drag performances and pole skills.

Aside from her pole and aerial skills, Jay has the ability to make anyone she encounters in our studio feel absolutely welcome. Jay has brought so much energy and love to our studio, and we treasure her as part of our family.

Thank you, Jay!

1. Where are you from?

I’m originally from Lima, Peru, but I’ve lived all over. We left Peru and moved to Belgium when I was two, then Germany when I was four, and I’ve lived in Canada since 2006!

2.  Tell us about your life outside of pole – what are your favourite things?

My biggest passion in life is makeup, and I began my career as a makeup artist three years ago. I also started performing drag back in October, and I’ve fallen in love with both the art form and the community of performers within it. I pretty much love anything creative and I find that through drag I’ve been able to combine my makeup artistry and my love for dance!

Aradia Fitness Student Spotlight Jay

Jay in drag backstage at PSO Canada West in September, 2018.

3. What do you love the most about pole? How does it make you feel?

What I love most about pole is the confidence that it gives me. I don’t hide the fact that I struggled with a restrictive eating disorder for years (while I was already doing pole) and so oftentimes people ask me if I found pole fitness helpful or harmful when it came to my body image and recovery. And, while at points anything involving big mirrors was challenging, I know without a doubt that pole played a crucial part in me getting to a place where I love my body not only for what it looks like but for all that it can do! The community is extremely positive and there are pole dancers of all different shapes and sizes doing amazing things, it’s quite uplifting!

4.) What is your favourite pole or aerial move?  

My favourite pole move changes constantly, but I’d say at the moment is the Ayesha. I find it quite fun cartwheeling into it! I think most people at the studio know that my absolute favourite classes are the spin pole classes, and I know that’s technically more than one class but I love all levels of it! I just feel so free when I’m on spin, it’s hard to describe!

5.) What motivates you to keep coming to class?

There are two main things that keep me motivated to come to classes regularly: the competitions/showcases and the people. I absolutely love creating, so competitions force me to put together new combinations, dance moves, costumes and themes and so I find motivation to keep training and doing the more dancey classes too. As for the people, I’m friends with a lot of my fellow polers and I always look forward to seeing my instructors and catching up with them on everything!

6.) When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I actually took my first ever pole class at an Aradia Fitness in Ontario back in 2013. Although I didn’t stay very long, once I moved to Calgary I decided to take pole back up (about 4 years ago) and while I’ve had to take a few breaks here and there due to my health I’ve never actually left (and never will – you’ll catch me at a pole competition at age 75, I’m not kidding).

7.) What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

What surprised me the most about pole dance and fitness is how many styles of pole there are. I think most people think of just exotic when it comes to pole, and while I love a good exotic class, I also love doing flips, contemporary, low flow, you name it. It’s equal parts art and sport and I find that there’s something there for everyone.

8.) Why should someone join Aradia Fitness and start their pole and aerial journey today?

I really don’t know where to start with this one. Start pole today because you want to feel empowered. Do it because you’re sick of the gym and want a way to work out that doesn’t feel like an obligation. Or do it because you need a community, a family of people that are supportive and will continue to challenge you. Pole dance because you were made to feel less than and want to prove everyone wrong. Do it to relieve stress. Or to be able to express yourself after a long day at the office. I don’t care what your reason is, just do it. You’ll thank me later, I swear!

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Jay’s peachy Allegra 🙂

 

Student Spotlight – Kristine

At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we celebrate our students’ success.  Every month, we feature a student who we feel exemplifies our Aradia family spirit, and the joy of our pole community.

For the month of August, 2018, we are featuring Kristine McLean.  Kristine brings so much positivity with her to the studio.  She works hard in class, all the while encouraging and applauding other students.  She has  had an impact on all our instructors as well as her fellow students.  Well done, Kristine!  You have come so far and we can’t wait to see how far you will go in your aerial and pole journey!

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Kristine in her Pole 4 Butterfly

1.  Where are you from?  Hometown?

Hometown is Edmonton, though I have lived here so long Calgary feels like my hometown.

2.  Favourite pastime (outside of pole), including any other dancing, aerial you do…..I love the Static Trapeze!  It is my favorite thing to do outside of pole.

3.  What do you love most about pole?What I love the most about pole is the sense of strength and flexibility it gives me.  I am not someone you would call flexible, however pole has made me more flexible now, as I approach 50, than I ever have been before. In the 10 months that I have been doing pole, my core strength has tripled and my overall strength has improved.  It is crazy how quickly it develops with pole.

4.  What is your favourite pole/aerial move? 

I love being inverted.  So any move that is inverted is a favorite.

5.  What keeps you motivated to come to your classes consistently?I keep coming back to class because it is fun…and hard…and a lot of fun…and challenging…and hard…and really fun.

6.  Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start pole today?

If you are thinking of working out, try Aradia.  I love it for all the above reasons but the best part of Aradia is all the wonderful friends I have met.  The environment of the studio is so friendly and encouraging.  I thought it might be a body concious environment but it absolutely isn’t.  EveryBody is welcome at Aradia.

Student Spotlight – Amy

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Amy working her flexibility on the aerial silks.

Every month at Aradia fitness Calgary, we celebrate one of our most dedicated and delightful students. Our Student Spotlight for March, 2018 is Amy Karst. Amy is a joy to have in class with smiles and laughter, showing encouragement to other students, and setting a wonderful example by coming to class and working hard. Her progress in pole and aerial fitness has been outstanding. We are proud to have Amy in our Aradia family. Keep going, Amy!  xoxo
1.  Where are you from?  Hometown?
I’m homegrown, born and raised right here in old YYC. My parents are from Saskatchewan so I have Rider Pride, and I believe through humour and carbs all things are possible!
2.  Favourite pastime (outside of pole)
I believe quality motion and stillness are the keys to happiness so when I’m not around the pole, in a hoop, or wrapped in silks, you’ll find me on my snowboard or downhill mountain bike. I started tap dancing this year too, making 2018 the year to tackle new opportunities for motion, and annoying my downstairs neighbors! I’m also a voracious reader and experienced napper.
3.  What do you love most about pole?
I am in love with pole because you can visually capture your strength gains from week to week. One week you can’t even begin to hold a move, and the next week you can for half a second, and then for a whole second, and then for two! The progression is extremely thrilling and motivating to push yourself further, even when your pole kisses (bruises) are showing.
4.  What keeps you motivated to come to your pole classes consistently?
The evolution of my strength, and the burning desire to be able to do what the YouTube videos make look so dang easy! Tip: none of it’s easy but it’s all beyond worth it!
5.  What surprised you about pole dance and fitness?
I was surprised by how fast my body adapted to the new challenge, and how supportive each class is! It’s never a competition, we all want to climb to the roof together!
6.  Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start pole today?
A) the true hilarity of looking the absolute opposite of sexy as you try to do any move from pole 1 for the first time!
B) the joy of doing a pole up!! That’s right, I used JOY and a BODY WEIGHT PULL UP together.
C) the commraderie, support, and inner (and outter!) strength that comes from such an empowering, endurance building, anything’s-possible workout that can change your outlook, your body, and your life.
At Aradia you get to bust out your wild side, your sexy side, your soft side, your strong side. I RAVE about Aradia to anyone who’ll listen, and when I can’t find the words or they don’t believe me, I just show them my biceps! 
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Amy showing her progression in Lyra.

 

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